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Distinguishing Mark

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Thug#1: He... He's got seven scars on his chest!
Thug#2: I heard he uses some strange kung-fu called Hokuto Shinken!
Thug#3: He's the guy who destroyed the Kiba family and Jackal's gang!

The physical version of Something Only They Would Say, where a character is identified by an unusual body deformity or trait, like a mole or birthmark. Bonus points if the mark is in a place that would be embarrassing/forbidden to show in public.

The barcode (which may be a tattoo but probably isn't) is often used as a sci-fi variation on the birthmark.

See also Scars are Forever. For a Distinguishing Mark that marks the Chosen One, see Birthmark of Destiny. If the Distinguishing Mark shows that the character is supernatural or magical, it's Mark of the Supernatural. If the Distinguishing Mark shows that the character is or was a slave, it's a Slave Brand. If it means the character is a reincarnation of someone with a similar mark or scar, it is a Reincarnation-Identifying Trait. If it is meant to show that a character is (or is assumed by other characters to be) evil, then it's the Red Right Hand. Overlaps with Facial Markings if it's located somewhere on the face.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Spiral City have it's main villain, a human criminal named Onigoro, accidentally cloning himself in Doraemon's Egg Factory into multiple duplicates, all of them which retains Onigoro's antagonistic nature except one - a benevolent clone called Hokuro, who can be differentiated from the others via a gigantic mole on his upper lip. Some dubs even referred to Hokuro as "Big Mole". At the end of the adventure when Onigoro and all his clones, Hokuro included, are arrested and the cloning reversed, to everyone's surprise Hokuro steps out of the cloning chamber, having all the clones merged into him. He then willingly turns himself in to the authorities once he got back to Tokyo.
  • Subverted in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, when Tarou notices a mermaid with long hair and is sure it must be Sara. It's not. All mermaids have long hair, and they otherwise looked nothing alike.
  • In Chrono Crusade, Chrono's missing horns are so prominent that he's known as "Chrono of the Broken Horn" to some of the other demons. And, of course, Satella is searching for a demon without horns...But later it's revealed that Aion is missing his horns, as well.
  • In Haruhi Suzumiya, Mikuru's star-shaped mole on her left breast is the usual thing Kyon looks for when he wants to see if it's the "real" Mikuru. In the novels, Kyon once asked her to show it (to which she replied with a punch) and another time realized it was not her because of it.
  • In Lucky Star, Konata looks almost identical to her deceased mother Kanata, except for a birthmark under her eye that she inherited from her father (and her ahoge).
  • Jacuzzi Splot from Baccano! is often immediately identified by the blue, oddly-shaped sword tattoo on his face - which is unfortunate for him, considering that he's got a large bounty on his head and more than a few enemies with an axe to grind.
  • A meta-example in Higurashi: When They Cry: the identity of the corpse discovered at the beginning of Curse Killing Chapter is never revealed, but an astute-eyed viewer can figure it out for themselves if they spot the Distinguishing Mark — the red star-shaped tattoo on the left thigh identifies it as Rina Mamiya.
  • My-HiME: The easiest way to identify a HiME is a fireball-shaped Power Tattoo on their body. It's in a different spot for each girl - Mai's is on her right breast, Natsuki's is on her lower back, etc. Akira also has one, but she hides it to maintain her disguise, and thus the other HiME don't know that she's one of them until much later.
  • Kotetsu T. Kaburagi/Wild Tiger from Tiger & Bunny has a rather distinctive-looking goatee. In fact, it's so distinctive that it's implied that many people don't bother to remember what the rest of him looks like.
    Security Guard: "With that beard and mask, anyone could look like him!"
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Maria Ross has a mole under her eye. While about to kill Lt. Colonel Hughes, Envy pretends to be Lt. Ross. Envy however fails to replicate this mark when imitating her but she quickly fixes it.
    • Also, Scar got his nickname because of the X-shaped scar on his forehead, courtesy of Kimbley. We never actually learn his true name, but the other characters needed something to call him by.
  • Inuyasha:
    • The titular character has fuzzy, white dog ears on top of his head (not floppy ears like most dogs, more upright like the Shibi Inu breed.) This marks his heritage as an inu-hanyou - half human, half dog-demon. He also his golden eyes with cat-like pupils, like his father.
    • Most of the demons in the series show certain traits that tell them apart from humans, even when in humanoid form. These include pointed, elf-like ears, unusual coloration in their eyes and hair, and (sometimes) claws and fangs. If their true form has a tail, that will often be visible, since it apparently takes a lot of power to hide it. In Shippou’s case, hiding the tail is often a problem when he disguises himself using his fox-magic. (Shippou is a very young kitsune-youkai - fox demon. In Japanese folklore, foxes were said to be great tricksters and the masters of disguise. Being so inexperienced, Shippou still isn’t very good at shapeshifting, but he’s getting better.)
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, the Hitokiri Battousai is known for having red hair and a cross-shaped scar on his left cheek. In some places where he is less famous that gets shortened to just a cross-shaped scar. During part of the Kyoto arc, he even covers it up with a bandage to avoid drawing attention.
  • Meta example in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid where the maid at the end of chapter 28 can be identified by the audience as the bandit girl due to the small scar on her right cheek. Taken further in the anime, since it's covered by her hair until the last second for The Reveal.
  • Dragon Ball: Goku's is his hair. After a three-year Time Skip, his friends didn't recognize Goku until he took off the turban he happened to be wearing. Goku even lampshades it.
    "Who else but me has hair like this?"
  • Moriarty the Patriot: Bond is recognized by John and Miss Hudson after their transition by a small mole under their eye.

    Comic Books 

  • In Blind Courage, Zelda has a mole under one eye, which she inherited from her mother Iriana. This mark is mentioned when a guard tells Ganondorf that he knows Zelda is dead because he saw her coffin (which actually used magic-made corpse). Zelda's daughter Baby also inherited her beauty mark.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Empath is distinguished from his fellow Smurfs by having a yellow star birthmark on his forehead, which according to their legend indicates that he has telekinetic and telepathic powers. Hefty in the series has a red heart birthmark on his right upper arm, but generally refers to it as a tattoo when he receives an identical mark on his left upper arm from Painter.
  • In Heroes in the Shadows, Raphael has a lightning-shaped birthmark on his chest similar to the crack in his canon-counterpart's shell.

    Films — Animation 
  • Toy Story 2 uses this to distinguish the familiar Buzz Lightyear with an otherwise identical one fresh from the box. In addition to knowing that he's a toy, the familiar Buzz proves that he's the friend of Woody by lifting his foot, revealing "Andy" written on his sole that was put there by their owner.
  • Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon has a tiny scar on his chin. In How to Train Your Dragon 2, it is revealed he got the scar when he was clawed by a dragon as a baby. When Valka first confronts Hiccup she stops short when she recognizes his scar.
    Valka: Hiccup? Could-could it be? After all these years? How is this possible?
    Hiccup: Uh, should I... should I know you?
    Valka: No. You were only a babe. But a mother never forgets.
  • In Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, Anneliese has a crown-shaped birthmark on her shoulder that is used to distinguish her from Erika and prove that she is the real princess.
  • In The Princess and the Pea, the court historian, Sebastian, makes a note that the newborn princess, Daria, had a heart-shaped birthmark on her left foot. This acts as a Chekhov's Gun to help identify her as the real princess later on.
  • In Turning Red, Ming has a mole near her left eye that she retains even as a giant red panda.

    Films — Live Action 
  • In The Princess Bride, Count Rugen is identified by his sixth finger on his right hand.
  • There's a royal birthmark (the Purple Pimpernel) on the royal posterior of the true heir to the throne in The Court Jester. Danny Kaye's character gets to show the infant's bottom to everyone to gain their reverence.
  • L.A. Confidential: A mother cannot initially ID her daughter in the morgue. The Coroner prompts her with Detective Lieutenant Exley and Officer Bud White hanging on her every word:
    Coroner: Mrs. Lefferts, does your daughter have any distinguishing marks?
    Mrs. Lefferts: She has a birthmark on her hip. It's her. My baby!
  • In Hong Kil Dong, Hong Kil Dong recognizes the bandit that tried to kill him when he was a child, by noticing the scar on the bandit's hand where young Kil Dong bit him.
  • In The Inspector General the only thing which distinguishes identical twins Izzick and Gizzick is a strawberry mark on Izzick's right leg which he tries to exhibit as proof of identity several times, only to be stopped by the mayor. When he finally gets to show it off without interruption, it turns out to be on his brother's leg.
  • In Charlie Chaplin film The Vagabond, the woman who was kidnapped as a child is recognized by a distinctive birthmark, seen when her mother views her portrait.
  • The Rawhide Terror: The two boys orphaned in the renegade attack have identical birthmarks, which will allow them to recognize each other should they ever be separated.
  • Incendies: Nawal's grandmother gives her love child a tattoo of three vertical dots on his heel so that Nawal will be able to identify him when she reunites with him some day.
  • Glückskinder: Discussed and then ultimately averted. Gil finally figures out that his new bride Ann is actually missing heiress Molly Jackson, when he sees that she has a square-shaped birthmark on her right shoulder that matches the description of Ms. Jackson. However it's ultimately revealed that Ann faked the birthmark as part of her Zany Scheme.
  • In Death Rides a Horse, Burt Cavanaugh, one of Bill's targets, has a tattoo of four aces on his chest. Another one, Pedro, has a scar near his eye.

  • The Goosebumps book "My Hairiest Adventure" has a character with one blue eye and one green eye — which turns out to be important after she's transformed into a dog.
  • The Dragonlords of Joanne Bertrin's novels all have a distinguishing physical mark (birthmark, odd eyes, dwarfism, albinism) which indicates their Dragon natures. One of the clues that a young woman is not really a Dragon is that her mark can easily be hidden.
  • Harry Potter:
    • The page image is Harry's famous lightning bolt scar, which is a relic of the Avada Kedavra curse Lord Voldemort tried and failed to use to kill him. People seeing it throughout the series immediately recognize him as being Harry Potter, even if they don't really know otherwise what he looks like. It also hurts whenever he is near Voldemort and later when Voldemort is feeling surges of strong emotion.
    • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban uses the missing toe on Scabbers's front paw thusly.
    • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Lucius Malfoy uses the scar on Harry's forehead to identify him, since Harry's face has been disfigured by Hermione's jinx.
    • All of the Death Eaters have a Dark Mark branded on their arms.
  • The Silence of the Lambs Hannibal used to have six fingers on one hand, more specifically a second middle finger. He has it surgically removed after Silence, but of course he retains his maroon eyes.
  • The Sylver family line in Welkin Weasels all have a facial birthmark shaped like a lightning bolt.
  • Conan the Barbarian:
  • In E. Nesbit's Five Children and It, after the children foolishly wish that everyone would want their little brother and then have to chase after everyone who kidnaps him, one character claims him as his long-lost son because he doesn't have a birthmark.
  • Edward Rutherfurd uses this trope a lot to distinguish between the families in his Generational Saga novels, variously giving them characteristics such as long toes, waddling gaits, or oversized noses. Played with a bit in London, in which the Ducket/Dogget line has three such traits: natural white streaked hair (both sexes), partially-webbed fingers (several of the males), or obesity that's probably linked to hypothyroidism (a few of the females).
  • In the Judge Dee mystery The Chinese Maze Murders a father identifies his daughter's headless body by a burn on the arm that she got when she was just a toddler.
  • The heirs to the throne of Riva in The Belgariad have a white mark on their palms, burned into their bloodline when Riva Iron-Grip carried the Orb of Aldur.
  • In A Brother's Price, part of the Porter family is polydactyl, with an extra toe on one foot. This tips off Eldest Whistler to the paternity of Kij's daughter, Eldie, who was sired by Kij's brother Keifer. While Keifer was married to the princesses.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • Jace Wayland has a star-shaped mark on his shoulder which is a birthmark of the Herondale family.
    • Simon gains the ability to walk in sunlight, nicknaming him "Daylighter" and the Mark of Cain, though he later loses the latter.
  • In Veniss Underground, Nicola has a birthmark in the shape of a rose between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand. When Shadrach sees it on Lady Ellington's transplanted hand, he realizes that Quin has taken Nicola to his organ farm to be used for spare parts.
  • In Half Bad, Nathan was tattooed so that he could be distinguished from other witches.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: When Cersei has put a price of Tyrion's head, the fact that he's a dwarf without a nose makes it very hard for headhunters to falsify their claims. Not that they don't try. They show up with the half-rotten heads of other dwarfs, with their noses cut off postmortem. Cersei is not impressed.
  • In The Orphan's Tales, the Girl who narrates the tales has dark markings covering and surrounding both eyes. They look solid black from a distance, but seen close to, they're actually tiny, tiny words which she has read and memorized.
  • Survivor Dogs:
    • Blade stands out from the other Fierce Dogs by having a white mark in the shape of a fang near her neck. This same mark also appeared on a dead pup's neck, giving Lucky the hint that the puppy was Blade's child. In fact, Blade murdered him herself.
    • Wiggle is differentiated from his brother by his unusually tufty neck.
  • The Cold Moons: Bamber's brother Oatear is named for the white, corn-ear shaped mark on one of his facial stripes. It's so noticeable that a newspaper notes it when describing his corpse.
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark": Georgiana has had a tiny red handprint on her cheek since birth. Familiarity has bred contempt, and the characters attempt to remove it.
  • In The Fowl Twins, Myles and Beckett Fowl look alike, except that Beckett possesses a highly distinctive birthmark... which is, in fact, a complete ruse designed to aid in the pulling of a Twin Switch. The birthmark is in fact, completely fabricated, created by food coloring and the story of the birthmark put for public consumption should such a switch become necessary as part of a double-bluff.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Breeds There a Man...?": Dr Ralston has a distinctive chemical scar on his cheek.
  • In The Girl Who Drank the Moon both Luna and her birth mother have a distinctive crescent-moon birthmark on their foreheads.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The King Loves: Moo Seok's snake tattoo is how San recognises him.
  • The Princess Wei Young: Xin Er has a birthmark on her wrist. This makes Seventh Concubine realise she isn't Wei Young.
  • The Hero Rohan in The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nóg has a birthmark called the Mark of Destiny that his druid mentor and foster father takes as a sign proclaiming him to be The Chosen One. He's right... but the mark isn't unique to Rohan. His half-brother Lugad and the Big Bad Queen Maeve, their mother, also bear the Mark of Destiny.
    • Ivar is in Kells hunting a thief who stole a sacred chalice from his people. He knows him only by a scar on his forehead. During a battle with Torc, Ivar knocks off the man's helmet to see the scar and realizes Torc is the thief. Torc openly boasts he drinks from that cup every night to anger Ivar who is dedicated to getting the chalice back.
  • On an episode of Highlander, the widow of a Watcher wants to expose Immortals to the media. A newspaper publisher naturally doesn't believe her story of people who can live forever and engage in sword duels to the death. She shows him a database featuring a man the publisher knows as a powerful millionaire, noting the man's facial scar. She then begins showing photos of a variety of men over the decades, from World War II to the 1890s to the Civil War and the early 19th century. The publisher's jaw drops when he sees that, while the name, hairstyles, and clothing are different, each of these men has the exact same scar and realizes they're all the same man.
  • On Baywatch episode "Mirror Image," Mitch is met by plain gal Gwen and later meets her more outgoing identical twin sister Mattie (both played by Carrie-Ann Moss). He ends up drugged by Gwen and put in a flooding chamber, realizing it's the jealous Mattie trying to kill him. Mitch is confused at the switch as Mattie has the exact same scars and bruises on her leg as Gwen does...then realizes they're not twins at all but one very troubled woman with a Split Personality.
  • Played for Laughs in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Takes On Manhattan", Monk recognizes a tiny mole on the perp's ear. He then spends an absurd amount of time describing the ear to a sketch artist. Later, when interviewing a suspect, Monk tries to get a peek at his ear.
  • In an episode of Hot in Cleveland, a mother and son are reunited in part by the son bearing a birthmark on his wrist in the shape of a handbag.
  • In The Refugees, the time-traveling refugees carry a chip on their chests that shines a red light. It is also used to monitor them and make sure they don't break the rules.
  • Savage Kingdom:
    • Saba is identifiable by the small nick on one of her ears.
    • Torn Ear is defined by her curled tail and very torn ears.
    • The Pale Pack is led by Tamara, who has diamond-shaped white spots on her pelt, and her golden-necked mate.
  • On Desperate Housewives, Bree sees a woman stalking neighbors Katherine and Adam, claiming she'd had an affair with Adam in Chicago. Adam had already told Katherine the woman had been a patient but is making up the story. When they're all trapped in a tornado, Katherine mentions how she knows the woman is lying because she talked of a snake tattoo on Adam's shoulder but Bree, having seen Adam at a pool party, knows he doesn't have one. Katherine coldly glares at her husband as she's finally realized why he was so insistent on having that snake tattoo removed as she and Katherine realize the affair was real.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "The Storyteller", Micah Frost falls from a tree and cuts his right cheek on a rock in 1933, leaving him with a prominent scar. In 1986, his former teacher Dorothy Livingston is able to recognize him as an adult because of this scar.
    • In "The Convict's Piano", the gangster Mickey Shaughnessy has a large scar on the right side of his face which makes his mouth look bigger when he smiles. He seemingly obtained it in a knife fight.
    • The Wire: Omar Little has a long scar running across his face that he is often identified with. Notably, the scar is not fake. Actor Michael K. Williams got it in a bar fight when he was attacked with a razor blade. It ended up becoming his signature feature.
  • Willow: Scorpia recognizes Jade as her long-lost sister by a tattoo on the back of her neck which they share. Their father was Kael; all his children got this as infants.

  • Sinbell from My Beloved Mother has two square, pockmarked scars on his cheeks, one at either side, for reasons unexplained for the entire story until the final chapter, a flashback to what happened in the past - as it turns out, as a child Sinbell barely survived a gas explosion if not for his mother, Aya, using herself to shield him from the fire (and dying in the process - before she got revived as a robotic caretaker). The scars on Sinbell's cheeks are a remnant of the incident.

  • In this video for Avicii's "Wake Me Up", two girls (implied to be either mother and daughter or older and younger sisters) living on a farm each bear a birthmark or tattoo of two triangles (the Avicii logo), the older on her right arm, the younger on her left shoulder, and are clearly shunned by others in a nearby town. At one point, the older girl rides her horse to a neighboring town, where she meets other people with the Avicii logo mark on their bodies. They welcome her and take her dancing. The next day, the older girl tells the younger to pack her things, because they're going to a place where they belong.

  • Parodied in the one-act opera Cox and Box by F. C. Burnand and Arthur Sullivan, in which Box declares that Cox must be his long-lost brother because he doesn't have a birthmark on his arm.
  • Animal Crackers identifies Roscoe W. Chandler as Abie the fish peddler with a large birthmark on his arm. Ravelli and the Professor later steal a wide array of his possessions - the Professor gets the birthmark.

  • Cutie Marks from the various My Little Pony franchises: a unique symbol on the flank of almost every ponynote . Friendship Is Magic actually uses them as plot points: Ponies are born without them and receive one when they discover their special talent.

    Video Games 
  • Evergrace: in this game, people who bear the Crest—a series of markings that appear on one's hand—are often subject to misfortune. The fact that there's a magician, with an entire empire in his control, searching for Crest bearers as test subjects probably doesn't help matters.
  • Professor Layton and the Curious Village: Flora Reinhold's disappearing-reappearing birthmark is the final clue Layton needs to solve the mystery of St. Mystere.
  • In King's Quest III, the way Gwydion proves he's the long lost Prince Alexander is by showing Princess Rosella a birthmark he has in a rather embarrassing place.
  • In several The Legend of Zelda games, the mark of the Triforce (see the featured image on the Rule of Three page) appears on the hands of three individuals. Ganondorf has the Triforce of Power, Princess Zelda has the Triforce of Wisdom, and Link has the Triforce of Courage. Each piece of the Triforce is represented by a different triangle - Power is on top, Wisdom is on the bottom left, and Courage is on the bottom right.
  • With the exception of Mark Meltzer or the multiplayer characters, all of the playable characters in the BioShock games have a mark or deformity on their hands or wrists.
    • While it's never pointed out, in BioShock, Jack has tattoos of three chain links across both wrists, symbolizing the fact that he is a slave to Atlas/Fontaine.
    • Subjects Delta and Sigma BioShock 2 have a Δ and Σ mark on their left gloves, respectively. These were probably used to distinguish each model of the Alpha series.
    • In BioShock Infinite, both leads have one of these. Booker DeWitt's right hand bears the mark of AD, (the initials of his daughter, Anna DeWitt, which he branded himself with after giving her up to wipe away his gambling debts) while Elizabeth has a missing phalanx bone on her right little finger, which she covers with a thimble. The reason for this is that said phalanx bone was cut off by a tear when she was an infant, the direct exposure of her bloodstream to the space between dimensions (or having two body parts in different dimensions at the same time, or something) gave her the power to open tears.
  • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, the Exalted family of Ylisse has the Mark of Naga on their bodies and the Avatar has the Mark of Grima on his/her hand, which only fades away if he or she kill Grima themselves.
    • Chrom has the Mark of Naga on his bare shoulder, and his elder sister Emmeryn has it on her forehead. Their little sister Lissa does not have the mark, however, so she fears that she's a bastard child until her Kid from the Future Owain appears and shows her his Mark.
    • Lucina, Chrom's daughter, inherits the Mark of Naga as well: it's found in the iris of her left eye.. If her mother is Olivia, then her potential younger brother Inigo has the Mark in the iris of his right eye, and mentions it as proof of his heritage when recruited.
    • Also mentioned in regards to Owain's Older and Wiser self Odin from Fire Emblem Fates. If he gets married and fathers Ophelia, she inherits the Mark of Naga too; the DLC's extend this to his other potential children, Shigure and Kana.
  • Genshin Impact:
    • Albedo has a gold, four-pointed star on his throat. He explains to the Traveler that this mark identifies his origins as an Artificial Human, comparing it to a pontil mark on glasswear. This proves to be important, when his identical "brother", Subject 2, attempts to Kill and Replace him. This "Albedo" lacks the mark, though it seems that both are capable of removing it at will.
    • The Electro Archon marked her creations with a distinctive mark on the nape of their necks, each having one half of the traditional tomoe symbol. Scaramouche/Wanderer, the prototype, has a reversed mitsudomoe that is used as the symbol for Electro while the final product, the Raiden Shogun, has a more traditional mitsudomoe marking.
  • God of War: Kratos' red-and-white getup isn't war paint. The red streak is a tattoo used to cover up the giant scar he got on his face when he tried fighting back against his brother's kidnappers, who were Ares and Athena. The white powder spread across the rest of his body? That's the ashes of his dead family, magically grafted to his skin no matter how much is peeled off.

    Visual Novels 
  • In The Curse of Kudan, it is eventually revealed that Touko keeps her hands covered to hide a butterfly-shaped birthmark on her right hand. This mark also causes Touko to be targeted by Niina, since the latter is fascinated by the mark and wants to cut off Touko's hand.
  • In Juuzaengi, when Kakouton loses his eye and gets a fever from his injury, his only memory of his savior (Kan'u) is the mole on her arm.

  • Blonde Sunrise: Lycan packs tend to share similar traits while in human form, mainly hair and eye color:
    • The lycans in Daine's pack are mostly blondes, redheads, or strawberry blondes with light green eyes.
    • Vince and his father Flint are marked as not originally being from Daine's pack by being brunettes with dark green eyes.
  • Nathan Hale in The Dreamer has a powder burn on his forehead and a mole on his neck.
  • In Shinka The Last Eevee Luna the Umbreon has diamond-shaped rings for some reason, her brother Shadow has orange instead of yellow rings and their clan banished him because of them.
  • Oliver of Lightning Made of Owls has an L-shaped scar as his distinguishing feature.
  • Mari from Moxie has a tattoo mark on the inside of her right wrist, distinguishing her as a noble.
  • Suzanne Incirrina of Surprising Octeal has a big obvious birthmark on her nose. This is NOT a part of the transformation that occurred to her in the comic.
  • Scarlet from I'm the Grim Reaper has an X shaped scar on her mouth. It's distinct enough for Chase to see her and immediately connect her to the near unsolvable Case X, where she, in her previous life, was a person of interest. It originates from a man who doubles as a pathologist and one of the world's shadow rulers, Judah. He gave her the injury to mark her as his, feeling it made him Entitled to Have You.

    Web Original 
  • Sailor Nothing: Himei sports a black eye in Chapter 2; as she turns out, she can't Clark Kent her way around it.
  • This webpage on basic Time Travel points out that even identical twins or clones won't have the same moles or skin tags, so this is a good way to convince people you really are them-self from a parallel universe.
  • In Through the Motions, magic users can easily be spotted by strange markings on their hands and/or fingers, which are obtained by making direct contact with a source of magic power. The main character discovers hers after visiting her doctor following an accident with a Magic Wand and her front door.

    Western Animation 
  • Prince Zuko of Avatar: The Last Airbender has a facial scar that is roughly flame-shaped.
  • G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero: The difference between the mirror image Tomax and Xamot? Xamot has a scar on his left cheek. For twins that share a link, it was no doubt agonizing for Tomax.
  • Dipper of Gravity Falls has a birthmark on his forehead that looks like a certain constellation that answers certain questions. He mentions that kids made fun of it before he started covering it up. The nickname, on the other hand, has stuck so strongly that he feels uncomfortable using his real name Mason, which goes unspoken throughout the entire series.
    Wendy: The Big Dipper! That's how you got your nickname! I thought your parents just hated you or something.
    • The author, as described by the shapeshifter as "a six-fingered nerd", is in fact polydactyl, with his hand being used as his emblem on his journals. Notably this is the most obvious physical difference between himself and his twin brother Stanley Pines.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar: Rico has a scar on the right side of his face.
  • Krusty the Clown in The Simpsons has a pacemaker scar, a cattle-skull birthmark, and a superfluous third nipple on his chest.
  • In All Hail King Julien, an Identical Stranger tries to take Julien's place, and Clover is able to identify the real Julien by identifying the supposedly bad scar on his butt he got in the first episode.

    Real Life 
  • During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the "distinguishing characteristic" of President Clinton's private parts used to back up her claim that he did have sex with that woman.
  • Seal's cheek marks, the aftereffects of a condition known as discoid lupus erythematosus, are so identified with him that he's the page image for that condition on The Other Wiki.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev was known for the large "port wine" birthmark on his head. Gorbachev decided not to have it removed as it would have seemed vain once he became a public figure. Some of his official portraits did edit out the mark anyway.